Bosworth: the race to find the battlefield

The discovery of the Bosworth battlefield was one of the historical highlights of 2009, yet it very nearly never happened. Here, Glenn Foard describes how his team's painstaking efforts to pinpoint the site turned into a race against time

A helmet marks a trail over fields from the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre, 2013. The site is close to the spot where the battle of Bosworth took place in 1485, and the place where King Richard III was killed. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the March 2010 issue of BBC History Magazine

It was the tiniest of objects and, to the untrained eye, barely worth a second glance. But when a single lead ball – a mere 30mm in diameter – was discovered in a Leicestershire field at the beginning of March 2009, it was to transform a faltering project to pinpoint the site of one of Britain’s most significant battles into a race against the clock.

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